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The Pathfinder... Bad News?

Captain's Blog Stardate 92499.73

The Pathfinder... the newest ship in the Intrepid line. A tier 6 ship that pays respect to Voyager, one of the greatest ships in Starfleet history. It's an upgraded version of Voyager with fancy new bells and whistles. So why am I upset?

How many of you upgraded your Tier 5 ships to Tier 5-U? Were any of those ships an Intrepid Long Range Science Vessel? Just think how it must feel if you spent money to upgrade your Intrepid, only to find out that a Tier 6 version of it is coming out a few weeks later. Ouch!

You just bought an upgrade token, so do you spend money again? Is this the only ship that will get this treatment because it is related to the Delta expansion? I wouldn't be surprised if the Galaxy and Defiant get a Tier 6 version, among other ships. Don't forget, they will probably also get a Tier 6 Fleet version! So when does it stop? Never...

I know people have been upset at Cryptic for a lot of different things over the past 4 years, and generally I've defended Cryptic. They are company who needs to make money. I get that; however I think this is simply wrong. Not because of the money, but because it affects players' gameplay. Some players have a limited amount of money to spend on STO each month... maybe even each year. If they just spent that money for an upgrade, how can they justify spending it again for an entirely new ship?!

Honestly, I don't think it's too much to ask Cryptic to disclose the ships they plan on releasing. They don't need to give us the specs, but at least the names. If it's a new ship that they want to keep a secret, great! Keep it a secret because it's a brand new ship. Just tell us that you're planning to re-release a ship. This way people can plan ahead.

Maybe I'm just being irrational but this really bothers me. It just seems like an underhanded tactic. Again, I've often supported Cryptic but I'm finding it hard to do so this time.

In the comments let me know if you agree or disagree with me.

One more thing before I end this blog, Club 47 looks amazing!!!! I give Cryptic a lot of credit for the creation of it. I want to live there!

Written by Attilio on November 23, 2014 at 10:07 pm


TacPaddy (Member) said...
November 24, 2014 at 06:20 am

Oh, Attilio, I so agree with you. Despite the fact, that the balance of T6 Ships across the faction is way off, I decided for myself that T6 Ships are just not worth it yet. I may reconsider, when Fleet versions are available.
For now, I prefer 4 Trait T5-U Ships with eleven Console Slots.

I'm almost certain, that especially the Ship packs (Odyssey, Vesta, Kumari, Bortasqu', Scimitar, Science Destroyers) will be re-released as T6 Ships as well, so there is that. I guess, only time will tell.

Reply to TacPaddy
MoonHeaven (Guest) said...
November 24, 2014 at 08:50 am

I agree with TecPaddy. We know for certain they plan to re-release some of the ships from the packs and more iconic ship varrients. I personally havent spent anything on upgrade tokens but I have gotten the delta ops pack and the new pathfinder. They all are great ships! I could never justify even on my science toon upgrading the intrepid retrofit to t-5u. It just wasn't worth it. this ship solved that problem, and it came with the iconic bridges players have asked for since release of the retrofit.

I totally feel your gripe of wanting to know what ships are up for re-release as t6 but honestly looking at past trends and ship releases you can see the pattern and kind of figure out what to expect in the future. I predect within the next year x3-operation gamma. with that a release of t6 defiant varrient. before that in half a year I predict the t6 galaxy and dread varrient. as well as s:10 Ancient influences.

I'm giving them a title of my own choosing due to trends I see in the story. but you get the point here. rather then blindly upgrade things hold off and look at trends. t5 is more then capable of matching t6 and t-5u ships. just build them right and there is no need to upgrade. bide your time, t6 varrients will release, I can garuntee it.

Reply to MoonHeaven
Whodat (Guest) said...
November 24, 2014 at 02:03 pm

Well let's look at what your $30 buys you... you get a slightly different equipment layout, a week or so's worth of grind ( content!!!) for a trait, and a universal console that when stacked with other universal consoles is fairly beefy...

Compared with other f2p games where a spiffy looking mount will run you $20+ that's not a bad deal. Heck compared to some p2p games a spiffy mount will run you $50+ after you factor in the sub as well.

If you look at the Zen store as a pay to use convenience store the pricing isn't too terrible. In most p2p games you can spend months and months waiting on the stars to align for the piece of gear you need to drop.

Personally, I'd still love to see prices rearranged to be more consumer friendly. Cut prices in half and I'd be more than happy to experiment with new ships every month of so. I can't help but weigh the value of my money, $30 lets me rerun the same 50-60 hours of content an infinite number of times... or I take that same $30 to the game store and get 20-100+ hours worth of different content.

Reply to Whodat
Chogokin (Member) said...
November 24, 2014 at 03:43 pm

I have a hard time believing that they have (apparently) opted not to allow further upgrade stages for existing T5 and T5-U vessels to T6. Yeah, they might need to develop some additional traits, but they could just as easily come up with 'generic' Science, Escort, Cruiser, etc. traits which would satisfy most players. I would far rather pay 500 or 700 Zen to upgrade a favorite ship in stages than to buy a whole new ship which I may not even especially like. And I think it would make more money. That's the whole concept of micro-transactions: lure people into making lots of small purchases that add up to more than a single large lump sum.

Personally, I bought the Lifetime subscription several years ago. I had spent probably several hundred on Zen purchases prior to that. When my wife started playing, I made a Zen purchase on her behalf to unlock the Ferasan species for her. That's all I've spent lately. I have no plans to spend more. I'm going to get my wife a decent gaming computer for Christmas, and at that point, I may just jump ship for a different game using a different funding model. Possibly Secret World, possibly Elder Scrolls Online.

I'm just very unhappy with how STO has been shaping up lately. It's becoming an alt-unfriendly grindfest with a financial "I win" button. While there are still aspects of the game which I enjoy, on the whole it's leaving a sour taste in my mouth.

Reply to Chogokin
Katou (Guest) said...
November 24, 2014 at 06:50 pm

I have spent so much money on STO..Liftime Sub, several ships (each faction)and just when I think I can chill on spending cash, Delta Quadrant comes out and Cryptic wants me to spend a lot of cash on new ships and or a little cash on ships that I already put out a fair amount of cash on. The game, to me, has gotten to a point where enjoyment has a direct relation to how much money you can spend on it. More and more I'm starting to look at games that cost me a set price up front and that is more after the initial price. To be honest it's getting to the point that most people playing STO are people that I generally wouldn't want to socialize with any way.

Reply to Katou
eagl17 (Member) said...
November 24, 2014 at 10:53 pm

well it wasn't a surprised. They mentioned a LONG time ago that we would get a voyager bundle. And with the amount of intrepid class out there, it was to be expected that people would not buy the package just for the bridge. I wonder if the ds9 bundle did/does sell well. They also mentioned we would see tier 6 version of the most popular ships during a podcast. I think we have to see it this way : tier 5: special console, tier 6: special trait. if you get a reduction on tier 6 fleet when you have a tier 5 fleet, i think it's fair game. Has you mentioned, they need to make money.

I'm just glad i try not to buy ship has soon has they come out.

Reply to eagl17
cisconetdude (Member) said...
November 25, 2014 at 09:02 am

I suggest they do away with T5-U and just do a T6 upgrade as re releasing these ships at 30 bucks a pop will be a killer when other have bought them in the past. Going from T5 to T5-U was cryptics idea so they should just allow them to go T6 Upgrade pack there is really no difference in ship between T5-U and T-6 just some HP, and Traits.

Reply to cisconetdude
PhantBat (Member) said...
November 25, 2014 at 04:02 pm

It's weird because since I primarily play as Romulan most of these new additions don't concern me as much. There's definitely a catch 22 of the feds getting more stuff but also having the temptation to buy it. I do think they should do away with T5U at some point since that category is basically upping a T5 ship to T6 stats. If we are getting a Voy bundle I'm curious if they'll add other stuff to it. I thought the Delta Pack was the Voy bundle. Still would like to see a TNG bundle down the line as well. That being said Pathfinder should have been the true T5 Intrepid.

Reply to PhantBat
Whodat (Guest) replied...
November 27, 2014 at 11:23 am

When an expansion comes out raising the level cap in a game players expect to need to replace gear... it's actually part of the excitement. In theory that shiny sword that you spent two months raiding for is worth 20-30 dollars, and that suit of super dude armor that you gave up your social life for probably cost about 150. But the cost is hidden.

However in STO we don't "earn" new ships through play, instead we buy them and because of that we associate each ship with an actual dollar value much more closely.

Cryptic, gave us the ability to upgrade T5 ships as a way to prevent the long term customers from feeling they wasted there money. And to let players continue using there long time favorite ships.

All in all I think the idea behind it was sound. Really the only people I actually feel bad for are new players. Because taking a bog standard T5 ship through the Delta Rising missions is rough... I can only imagine what it would be like for the guy trying to do it in one of the lvl 40 freebie ships.

Reply to Whodat
cmdrscarlet (Member) said...
November 28, 2014 at 11:42 am

Caveat emptor - and it's that simple. Only the LRSV users should be upset and really, only those who use the ship "often" in my book. I have one, but I drydocked it months ago. So when the upgrade tokens came out, I only bought one for my current ship. The rest can stay at their current Tier - to save money.

Frankly, the money line, although a reality for some, is almost weak because this is a luxury hobby. If anyone is so close financially where the upgrade to T5U hurts enough to cause emotion about a T6 version ... they need to realign priorities.

About the Pathfinder, now matter how much time elapsed from the Tokens to this ship, there would be upset players. Granted *one month* is a bit short and unfair to the consumer even with the caveat.

And really, it's not a necessity (the Pathfinder) - if you are rolling with a T5U (and money is tight), then you will simply have to wait. What happened to patience ffs?

So, I agree that Cryptic could do a service to the players by letting us know *something* is coming down the pipe. I don't need details or dates. Just tell me a "cruiser" is getting a T6 version by x month (or season) and I'm good.

Reply to cmdrscarlet
Soral (Member) said...
November 29, 2014 at 10:59 am

I have to agree with cmdrscarlet for asking, "what happened to patience" and waiting until you saved up the money? I'm a lifetime subscriber and I've been saving my stipend for months waiting to earn enough to get the Tempest from the c-store. I am saving for other things in real life, so between the stipend and earning dilithium to buy Zen, I'm having to wait patiently.

I understand and even feel for the people that bought the upgrades only to have the new ship come out a month later. It feels like you got tricked and honestly, if you were one of those people, you did. But too many people fall into that trap of "I need it now" and that's what Cryptic is basing their sales strategies on. Wait a month or two, let the dust settle and see what they do next. They've announced a slow release of content and items, so don't get too excited about buying things when they first put them on the shelves and you won't have buyer's remorse quite so often.

Reply to Soral
Warburton1881 (Member) said...
December 24, 2014 at 02:44 am

I am personally not that upset with most of what Cryptic is doing right now. My one mild gripe is that only a limited number of T5 ships were available for free upgrade when T6 came out and it is going to take me a long time to get through the Mastery levels for most of my T5U ships. That said, we just recently went through a promotion that gave us 50,000 Dilithium for a series of missions. That's over 300 Zen at current Exchange prices (it was more a week or so ago). Add that to the 500 Zen stipend per month for Gold members and you've got a potentially rather large bankroll to buy upgrades or new ships. Throw in the fact that many of the upgrades can be purchased with just one upgrade token, depending on what you own and what you are buying, and the cost of moving up isn't anywhere near as bad as it could be. Last , but not least, we have a promotion going now that gives you a T6 ship and two T5 ships for 27 days of running a three minute race every day or so. I can do that standing on my head. With three ships available, and only one character per account having to acquire each one in order for everyone on the account to get one for a single three minute race, it means that within four weeks of investing a couple of hours a day of my time, I am going to pick up about forty new ships for my seventeen toons. It would be more, but most of my toons have the Chel Great Cruiser already. I'll be interested to see how the new Carrier compares to my (also free) Obelisk Carrier from one of the earlier promotions.

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